40 boats gutted in fire at Visakhapatnam Fishing Harbour

by IANS |

Visakhapatnam, Nov 20 (IANS) A huge fire at the Visakhapatnam Fishing Harbour has destroyed over 40 boats.

The incident happened late on Sunday night. The fire, which broke out in one of the boats around 11 p.m., spread to other boats. Fire engines rushed to the scene. The fire was controlled in the early hours of Monday.

Initially it was suspected that the fishermen sleeping in the boats were caught in the fire. However, officials said there was no loss of life.

Locals suspect that unidentified persons deliberately set afire the boats. Police said they were investigating the cause of the fire.

The boats were ready to sail in the waters early Monday morning. Fishermen had filled the diesel and kept them ready for fishing.

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has expressed anguish over the fire at Visakhapatnam Fishing Harbour. He directed the officials to provide relief to the affected fishermen.

The Chief Minister also asked the officials to conduct a thorough probe to find out the cause of the fire. He directed fisheries minister Seedari Appala Raju to visit the accident site and supervise the relief operations.

Meanwhile, actor-politician Pawan Kalyan has termed the fire incident as unfortunate. The Jana Sena Party (JSP) leader Pawan Kalyan demanded the government to compensate the boat owners. He said the government should immediately come forward to help the fishermen, who lost their source of livelihood.

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) state president K. Atchen Naidu said the incident occurred due to lack of safety measures at the fishing harbour. He said the government should come to the rescue of affected fishermen.

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